Mars is the focus of much scientific study about possible human colonization.
Permanent human habitation on other planets, including Mars, is one of most prevalent themes in science fiction. As technology advances, and concerns about humanity's future on Earth increase, arguments favoring space colonization gain momentum. Other reasons for colonizing space include economic interests, long-term scientific research best carried out by humans as opposed to robotic probes, and sheer curiosity.
Both private and public organizations have made commitments to researching the viability of long-term colonization efforts and to taking steps toward a permanent human presence on Mars.
NASA has released a report containing detailed plans for a human mission to Mars. This has been a long-standing goal for NASA and their report outlines the challenges of Mars exploration in three stages. The first, ‘Earth Reliant’, stage focuses on research aboard the International Space Station. The ‘Proving Ground’ stage puts humans deeper into space for research, while remaining a few days from Earth. The ‘Earth Independent’ stage completes the plan by getting humans to the surface of Mars.
NASA is not the only organization preparing to send humans to the red planet. SpaceX, Dennis Tito’s Inspiration Mars Foundation, and Mars One have all expressed an aim to visit and in some cases even colonize Mars.
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